Importing fitness equipment from China to the EU

Since doing sport and working out became a global trend, importing fitness equipment from China to the EU has skyrocketed and remains popular. While some people do sports for their health, many treat it as one of the ways of relieving everyday life stress. That’s why the demand for such products is high, and their import may be a good idea for a profitable business. Check the duty rates and requirements for importing fitness equipment from China to the EU.

Importing fitness equipment from China

Production areas for fitness equipment in China

There are many different places in China where sports equipment is manufactured. The crucial role in this field is the city of Xiamen in the Fujian Province. One of its districts, Tongan, is responsible for 10% of Chinese fitness equipment export. Many manufacturers are also located in the Guangdong Province, in cities like Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen. Make sure to also check suppliers from Wenzhou and Jinhua in the Zhejiang Province and Dezhou or Qingdao in the Shandong Province. A lot of fitness equipment comes from the Hubei Province and Shanghai as well.

Check all the mentioned locations on the map below.

Production areas for fitness equipment in China

Importing fitness equipment from China to the EU – Duty rates

Before importing products from China, make sure to check their duty rates. You can find the customs rates imposed on any goods in the TARIC system. There, you’ll also check their HS codes. The duty rates on articles from China are in the Erga Omnes row. Below we’ve prepared for you a list of duty rates for some of the fitness equipment articles.

  • Exercising apparatus with adjustable resistance mechanisms (9506911000) – 2.7%
  • Roll mat (3921190099) – 6.5%
  • Cross-country skis (9506111000) – 3.7%
  • Ice skates (9506701000) – 0%
  • Roller skates (9506703000) – 2.7%
  • Nets, e.g., for tennis (5608191100) – 8%
  • Tennis, badminton or similar rackets, whether or not strung (9506590000) – 2.7%
  • Articles and equipment for table tennis (9506400000) – 2.7%
  • Balls (9506699000) – 2.7%
  • Kettlebells (9506919000) – 2.7%
  • Jump rope (9503009590) – 4.7%

As one may notice, importing fitness equipment is popular not only due to the high demand, but also the low customs rates. However, many importers of such goods are also interested in the import of sports clothing. If you’re one of them, also check the duty rates for various pieces of clothing. Notice that they’re higher than the rates for fitness equipment.

  • Sports footwear; tennis shoes, basketball shoes, gym shoes, training shoes and the like (6404110000) – 16.9%
  • Tracksuits of synthetic fibres (6112120000) – 12%
  • Swimwear (6211110000) – 12%
  • Ski suits (6112200000) – 12%
  • Gloves, mittens and mitts, specially designed for use in sports (4203210000) – 9%
  • Sports bras (6212109000) – 6.5%

Requirements for importing fitness equipment to the EU

Requirements for selected products

CE mark and Declaration of Conformity

For most fitness equipment, a CE mark is not obligatory. However, there are some exceptions, and you need to know which ones. Such products are, among others, toys, e.g., jump ropes. Every toy must comply with the Directive 2009/48/EC on the safety of toys. They all must be tested according to the directive’s regulations. What’s more, toys have to be compliant with the correct harmonized standards.

CE mark is mandatory also for the safety accessories, like wrists, hands, knees, and elbow pads. If you want to import such articles, you need to get acquainted with the Regulation (EU) 2016/425 on personal protective equipment.

Marking a product with CE is possible only if you have a complete set of required documents: test reports, CE Certificate, and Declaration of Conformity. Keep in mind that while a certification body issues CE Certificate, the importer is responsible for issuing the Declaration of Conformity.

The REACH Regulation

The REACH Regulation concerns importers of garments and textiles. Therefore, if you plan on importing fitness clothing, you need to know the applicable requirements. For example, the regulation requires that the goods have a label informing about the raw material used in their manufacture. When it comes to clothes for kids, they must comply with EN 14682:2014 concerning the safety of children’s clothing.

Fitness equipment trade fairs in China

If you’re interested in importing from China, we highly recommend attending trade fairs organized throughout the country. While B2B platforms are also a suitable method of looking for a supplier, trade fairs give you a whole different experience. There you can talk with the suppliers face-to-face and get a response to your question immediately. You’re also able to check the quality of the products on the spot and negotiate their price. Therefore, we encourage you to visit Chinese trade fairs.

Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the fitness equipment trade fairs in China.

IWF SHANGHAI Health, Wellness, Fitness Expo

Localization: Shanghai New International Expo Center

Official website: https://www.ciwf.com.cn/en/

Fibo China

Localization: Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center

Official website: https://www.fibo-china.cn/en/

Shenzhen International Sport Expo (SPOE)

Localization: Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center

Official website: http://www.spoe.cn/

ISPO Beijing

Localization: New China International Exhibition Center

Official website: https://www.ispo.com/en/beijing

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair)

Localization: China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair Complex)

Official website: https://www.cantonfair.org.cn/en/

Summary

Due to people’s greater awareness of the importance of the sport, importing fitness equipment from China to the EU remains its popularity. Another factor making the import of such products profitable is their relatively low duty rates. However, importing to the EU comes with the obligation to ensure that your goods meet all the applicable requirements. Most sports equipment doesn’t need to be compliant with any additional regulations, but there are some exceptions. Fitness equipment counted as toys or safety accessories must have a CE mark. On the other hand, if you plan on importing clothing, check the REACH Regulation.

Before importing from China, verify your supplier and carry out quality control in their factory. Check if the supplier is trustworthy and their goods meet your expectations.

Make sure to also check our article about importing fitness equipment from China to the US!

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